When taking a trip, there’s all sorts of ways that it could go wrong. Whether it’s a vacation or a simple stroll down a country road, it can easily go awry. These ten films show how a trip can go bad in drastic and sometimes exaggerated ways involving supernatural forces. Also, because Halloween has come, these films could be ones to consider for your holiday watching.
10“Get Out” (2017)
dir. Jordan Peele
Meeting your significant other’s parents is always awkward. However, when their parents have racially motivated sinister plans, that amps up the worry factor. Before Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) steps into the car heading to see the liberal-minded parents of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams), he’s already skeptical. Both funny and fear-inducing, “Get Out” is proof that racism comes in various forms.
9“Eden Lake” (2008)
dir. James Watkins
The rather unsung “Eden Lake” is a sea of tragedy. Once Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and Steve (Michael Fassbender), a carefree couple, become terrorized by a group of reckless teenagers, it gets heart wrenching to watch. Also, while it may be a simple thriller, “Eden Lake” was controversial upon its release. It was among a group of British films that were accused of being prejudice towards working class folk. Regardless of that criticism, though, it’s a worthy watch based on its quality.
8“The Blair Witch Project” (1999)
dir. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez
“The Blair Witch Project” is an exemplary demonstration of doing more with less. All the filmmakers had was a $60,000 budget, a genius marketing campaign, and a simple premise involving students getting lost in the woods. Yet, it showed how gore and CGI monsters aren’t always needed to provide scares while heavily influencing the popular “found footage” genre for years to come. Although it still remains divisive, those frightened by it may think twice about going for a trail walk.
7“The Evil Dead” (1981)
dir. Sam Raimi
Similar to “The Blair Witch Project,” “The Evil Dead” is another fine example of doing wonders with a small budget. With a price tag of at least $350,000, “The Evil Dead” is a blood-drenched scarefest about college students slowly getting possessed by demons. Plus, it features an iconic horror hero in the form of Bruce Campbell as Ash. Armed with a chainsaw and slight wit, Ash forges his way through a night of chaos.
6“The Descent” (2006)
dir. Neil Marshall
Being trapped in a cave is bad enough. Especially if you’re afraid of being in tight places. One thing that’s just as bad, though, is getting trapped with humanoid creatures that have a hunger for human flesh. Besides being a demonstration of fear and claustrophobia, “The Descent” features humanistic drama as it emphasizes on the friendship between the six friends fighting for their lives. Its mix of scares and profundity is perfectly balanced by writer/director Neil Marshall.
5“The Howling” (1981)
dir. Joe Dante
In “The Howling,” things get quite hairy. For reporter Karen (Dee Wallace Stone), her retreat seems like a sanctuary after a traumatic experience. That is until the full moon rises and werewolves start terrorizing the woods. The transformation effects by makeup artist Rob Bottin help give “The Howling” its creep factor along with the idea of being in an isolated place that only appears to be a safe haven.
4“Wrong Turn” (2003)
dir. Rob Schmidt
“Wrong Turn” does for hiking what “Jaws” did for going to the beach. Especially hiking in the mountains where there’s hardly a soul in sight. When a group of strangers search for help after getting in a car accident, the only souls they run into are three deformed cannibals. Despite their grotesque appearance and lack of coherent speech, these cannibals still strategically trap and kill their prey. They honestly make a trip to the beach sound far more tempting.
3“An American Werewolf in London” (1981)
dir. John Landis
Going back to werewolves and hiking, “An American Werewolf in London” is a successful subversion of werewolf lore. Once David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) go backpacking through England, they’re advised to avoid the Yorkshire Moors. Their failure to heed the warning results in Jack’s death and David slowly becoming a creature of the night himself. With frights, tongue-in-cheek humor, Oscar-winning makeup effects by Rick Baker, and a genius soundtrack with songs like “Bad Moon Rising,” “An American Werewolf in London” is quite a hair-raising experience.
2“The Wicker Man” (1973)
dir. Robin Hardy
The 2006 remake starring Nicolas Cage left quite a sour taste in people’s mouths, but the original version of “The Wicker Man” remains a masterclass. As Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodard) comes to the island of Summerisle searching for a missing girl, he challenges the Paganism of its residents with his Christian beliefs. Frightening in a less traditional sense, “The Wicker Man” allows the belief in ritualistic human sacrifice to act as a form of antagonism.
1“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974)
dir. Tobe Hooper
“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is a never ending exercise in bone-chilling realism. In addition to being inspired by the true story of notorious killer Ed Gein, it’s shot like a documentary. Not to mention, the massacring happens literally behind closed doors, allowing audiences to visualize the severity of the murders taking place. What should’ve been a harmless drive for a group of friends ends up being the trip from Hell under the boiling summer Texas sun.